Best Hotel Restaurant 2021 | Pao by Paul Qui | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Miami | Miami New Times

One of the most striking features of this chef's namesake restaurant isn't the view into the open kitchens or the oceanfront vista just outside, but the $6.5 million statue of a golden unicorn by Damien Hirst. It's mirrored by the extravagant $32 unicorn that you can actually eat — a spike-wielding sea urchin resting on a bed of tri-colored grilled sweet corn flavored with chile de árbol and a heady sake aioli. Pair it with the piña colada/Moscow mule mix that arrives in a solid copper unicorn-shaped goblet for a magical experience. Across Miami are dozens of fancy hotels anchored by fancy restaurants helmed by big-name chefs. But none are quite like Faena's Paul Qui, a Manila-born chef who quickly climbed the ranks to culinary stardom after a 2011 Top Chef win followed by a James Beard Best Chef: Southwest award. Since 2015, Qui has offered his unique modern Asian cuisine at Pao; playful takes on Filipino dishes nod to Japanese, Spanish and French fare, from the signature kinilaw (a Filipino-style hamachi ceviche in a Thai chile- and vinegar-spiked coconut-milk leche de tigre) to the fried chicken brined in fish sauce for an umami punch. But no matter how you slice the popular Wagyu tenderloin adobo — or any dish here, for that matter — one thing is certain: This is the work of a classically trained chef who can uplift even uni to unicorn status.

No matter if the good weather decides to stick around, there's one corner of Miami where it's perennially summer: Seaspice. The scene at the airy white boathouse rumored to have been owned by the billionaire founder of Trans World Airlines, Howard Hughes, is straight out of Saint-Tropez. Sure, it would be great to get away to the French Riviera, but Seaspice's outdoor patio along the Miami River is a wonderful place to nosh onMediterranean-inspired fare like octopus carpaccio, ceviche, and seafood risotto while sippingsignature cocktails like the "As Good As It Gets" and the "Beckham's Club." Sit back, relax, and dream as you watch 60-foot yachts drop off their owners for a decadent meal.

Start with the fact that this signature Spanish restaurant, run byexecutive chef Sergio Chamizo,is located in the iconic National Hotel Miami Beach. Add that this historic property has recently been reinvented as an adults-only resort. Then throw in the design, which offers a choice between art deco inside and tropical landscaping on the outdoor terrace. There's your recipe. Now, let's eat. Dine on charcuterie and tapasor share any of the four rice dishes for two. Or split a whole oven-baked dorado. Any way you look at it, with no minors on the scene and the Miami moon rising overthe infinity pool, all meals here lead to true romance.

Photo courtesy of Mike's at Venetia

In a city rife with upscale, overpriced, over-dressed rooftop options, Mike's at Venetia is the poor man's take on sky-high views, with a side of seriously laid-back. This longtime Irish dive bar on the roof of an apartment building near the Venetian Causeway offers an uber-casual vibe thanks to its ninth-floor perch overlooking Biscayne Bay and the downtown Miami skyline. It's the perfect spot to put away a few happy hour beers and some equally affordable fried pub fare, all while relishing the fact that you didn't spend half your paycheck just to be a few extra feet above sea level. If you're looking for more of a mood, Mike's has that, too. You can go fancy with a date and a meal of steamed mussels and rib-eye steak or watch your favorite local team on one of Mike's two dozen TVs. Keep this place in mind whenever you want all of the above minus the dress code, overpriced everything, and a parade of Insta model photo shoots.

Photo by Michael Kleinberg

Given our weather, raw bars and seafood joints are perfect for the Miami lifestyle. Add a Mexican coastal inflection, like chef Scott Linquist does at Como Como, and we just fall head over palate. Located at Moxy South Beach, Como Como, brought to us by the team behind Coyo Taco and 1-800-LUCKY, reinterprets the multifarious cuisine of Mexico's coastline with dishes like oysters dressed with a variety of special "aguas," house-smoked fish dip, and daily selections of fish and seafood charred over the restaurant's centerpiece fuego — a fire station forged out of copper and wrought iron — including a whole boneless branzino marinated with achiote, oranges, habaneros, and oregano wrapped in a banana leaf, or whole butterflied snapper served open-face with two marinades: jalapeño cilantro garlic butter and ancho chile garlic butter. You'll never want to go-go to anywhere but Como Como again.

Photo by Gary He

According to Cote owner Simon Kim, steakhouses should be more fun. So he created Cote, a concept that combines the fun and excitement of Korean barbecue with the upscale ambience of a traditional New York steakhouse. Here the focus is on prime meats, each grilled at the table Korean barbecue-style. The Miami menu mirrors the NYC flagship's selection of American and A5 Japanese Wagyu sourced from the Miyazaki prefecture; cuts are dry-aged for a minimum of 45 days in the restaurant's red-light dry-aging room and seasoned with a proprietary blend of British Maldon salt, Himalayan pink salt, and Korean thousand-day sea salt. If you like your steak rare, you'll get a chance to see it in all its marbled glory; each table is fitted with its own smokeless grill, and dry-aged cuts are presented raw before being cooked to order. In a change of pace from heavier steakhouse sides, meats are served alongside light pickled vegetables and a variety of Korean condiments, from the house kimchi to a ssamjang dipping sauce used in lettuce wraps. In true steakhouse form, the full menu includes shareable appetizers, including a wedge salad, steak tartare, shrimp cocktail and full caviar service. Feeling fancy? Try Kim's favorite, the "Butcher's Feast" — a selection of four different meats served with an assortment of the restaurant's savory sides, pickled vegetables, rice, and dessert.

Photo courtesy of Holi Vegan Kitchen

If Holi Vegan Kitchen had a motto, it would be "Anything you can cook, I can cook vegan —and better." The casual eatery offers a list of everything you could want to eat, only vegan. Tacos? Check! Quesadilla? Check! Burgers? Four different kinds, to be exact (a Beyond burger, an Impossible burger, a black bean burger and a lentil burger — $13 to $16). Holi has meatball heroes, Italian sausage sandwiches, pizzettas, pancakes, and scrambles. Everything is made to order, so it's fresh and delicious. And if you want to go the "healthy vegan" route, Holi's got you covered with smoothies, salads, bowls, and fresh-pressed juices. So take your carnivorous bestie and see what they think: You might just have a new date for Meatless Monday.

Photo courtesy of Le Jardinier

Searching for cooking that has breadth and depth at once? This is your place. Michelin-starred chef Alain Verzeroli's menu includes constant refreshes of straightforward vegetarian dishes that are remarkable in their fresh simplicity. Maybe today is the day for summer gazpacho, made with avocado, a sweet dash of Bing cherries, and a creamy layer of fresh ricotta? Or a plate of summer corn tortellini, crowned with chanterelle mushrooms and hazelnuts to savor over a mix of chamomile-infused tequila blanco, green chartreuse, ginger, and lemon? It's all good. The interior is a nod to the Design District's sleekness — a nice stretch of bar, an outdoor dining area done in white and green, and a fancy, light-filled interior. The best part is the intimate outdoor space, which is open on warm summer evenings allowing you to experience Miami's epicenter of trendiness from a serene and satiated remove.

Photo courtesy of Bar da Vila

A Brazilian joint at the Village Restaurant & Shops in downtown, Bar da Vila is a great place to feast on richly flavored classics like picanha skewers and feijoada. But what separates this spot from other Brazilian restaurants in town is its lively and welcoming ambiance. It's an ideal spot to grab a drink, catch up with friends, and listen to live music on weekends. Need further inducement? The prices are as friendly as the atmosphere. Try the stroganoff, prepared with your choice of meat in a tomato cream; or marinated sea bass with a nut crust and açaí reduction; or the picanha burger served inside cheese bread with bacon, mozzarella cheese, and caramelized onions. Oh, and a caipirinha to drink. Always order a caipirinha.

NW Second Avenue in Wynwood is known for its eye-popping murals, selfie-obsessed pedestrians, and all-around chaos, but some of the juiciest and most flavorful jerk chicken and oxtail in the city can be found in an inconspicuous eatery just a block north of the hustle-bustle, where a headless mannequin painted in the colors and pattern of the Jamaican flag marks the entrance. Ian Curtis, AKA Chef Slim, runs the kitchen, while his wife, Nadine Patrice, sees to the front of the house. The turquoise walls are dotted with canvases depicting Bob Marley and George Floyd, along with uplifting messages, imbuing the space with a warm, laidback vibe not unlike that of a friend's dining room. Other Caribbean classics are served here, including curry goat roti, fish cakes, Jamaican patties, and conch fritters. Dinner arrives in heaping portions, alongside rice and beans, and sweet plantains. Just don't drop in on a Monday. Every chef is entitled to a day off.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®